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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for March 12

Geoff Ulrich gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for Friday’s fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings, which starts at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Friday’s DraftKings NHL contest features a five-game slate starting at 8:00 p.m. ET. In this article, you will find DFS advice for DraftKings plus some DraftKings Sportsbook bets to target as well.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $60K Twine [$15K to 1st]

DraftKings Sportsbook

St. Louis Blues Money line (+104) vs. Vegas Golden Knights

The Blues have been on a nice stretch lately that have seen them go 4-0-2 over their last six games, and gain points in six straight games. They’re up to 11th in goals per game and rank 16th in xGF%, which is just a few spots behind Vegas. The Blues have also just welcomed Vladimir Tarasenko ($4,700) back to the lineup which gives them a nice boost up front. These two teams are pretty close in the advanced stats and with St. Louis at home and riding the return of one of their best offensive players I like targeting them at plus-money here.

Los Angeles Kings Money line (+180) at Colorado Avalanche

The Kings split the first two games of the year against the Avalanche and enter this game off a dominant 5-1 win against Anaheim, and having gained points in three straight starts. While the advanced stats still favor Colorado here, L.A. has actually outscored the Avs this season and have a small advantage on special teams, especially on the power-play where they’re ranked as the sixth-best unit in the league. The Avs is still banged up on the backend and didn’t look great against the Coyotes in their last two games. L.A. sets up as a live dog here at great odds.

Place your NHL bets at DraftKings Sportsbook and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

Top Line Stacks

San Jose Sharks at Anaheim Ducks

Logan Couture ($7,000) — Evander Kane ($6,500) — Kevin Labanc ($3,900)

The Sharks and Ducks play tonight in a battle of two of the worst defensive teams in hockey. Anaheim has now allowed an average of 4.5 goals against over their last six games and have now given up the fifth-most scoring chances on the season. The Sharks first-line doesn’t get talked about much given San Jose’s status right now, but they do have a lot of fantasy appeal in this spot. Kane comes in averaging 3.5 SOG and 14.5 DKFP over his last 10-games. Couture has remained a near point-per-game player in his role as the team’s top center as well. While his price is up for the matchup against the Ducks, he’s averaging 13.5 DKFP over his last 10-games and is playing over 20-minutes a night for San Jose—making him a decent to-end value when you consider the volume and opponent on tap here.

Labanc is a fine way to round out this line as the Ducks are pretty bad at even strength so, even if he doesn’t get the full PP1 exposure that Kane and Couture will, his chances of potting a goal here against an inept team like the Ducks is decent enough to consider him at under 4k. He’s also proven to be a good setup man when given the chance as he grabbed 39 assists in 2018-2019 in more of a top-6 role. The Sharks top-line should feast in this spot and their salaries will still allow you to roster another top line, if you so choose, along with them.

Superstar to Target

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers vs. Ottawa Senators ($9,300)

McDavid strolls into this game with a casual 16-points over his last 10-games, all despite going pointless for three of those starts. He’s averaging just under 4.0 SOG for the season, which remains a huge improvement over last season, and has now been locked into a hyper top-heavy line with Leon Draisaitl ($8,900) and Kailer Yamamoto ($5,200), for the time being. Playing the Oilers studs together—with the cheaper Yamamoto—is certainly an option tonight but with Draisaitl’s salary coming up after his 53.5 DKFP game against Ottawa, it’s likely a good time to swing back to the Captain here if you’re needing to choose between the two.

Ottawa is likely seeing ghosts on the ice at this point as the Oilers have outscored them 28-13 in six games thus far. The Senators have given up the third most scoring chances against in the league to date and are likely going to get throttled here again. McDavid may be chalky, but he also may be a necessary anchor tonight.

Value on Offense

Nick Bjugstad, Minnesota Wild vs. Arizona Coyotes ($3,500)

Bjugstad has been inserted into a top-6 role for the Wild and the move is paying off in multiple mays for Minnesota right now. A one time Panther, Bjugstad is a bit of reclamation project but has always carried good skill and certainly belongs in an NHL lineup. He’s centering Mats Zuccarello ($5,900) and Kirill Kaprizov ($5,000) at the moment which has led to him potting three points in his last four games. If you’re looking for a cheap effective stack, using Bjugstad with one or both of his two wingers makes good sense here.

Max Comtois, Anaheim Ducks vs. San Jose Sharks ($4,400)

Comtois was held scoreless in the Ducks last contest against L.A. but he comes in averaging a point per game over his 10-games and averaging 10.1 DKFP over that span as well. Comtois is playing big minutes on their top-line and PP1 right now, and they have no reason not too given their lack of scoring depth up front. The Sharks make for a great opponent here as they allow the second-most goals per game and third-most SOG against, per game. The Ducks forwards are decent value options tonight and Comtois is likely the pick of the litter given his role and offensive capabilities.

Stud Goalies

Kaapo Kahkonen, Minnesota Wild vs. Arizona Coyotes ($7,900)

Kahkonen comes into this game on an eight-game win streak and averaging 15.7 DKFP over his last 10-games. The rookie is making a push for the Calder trophy and has turned into a great DFS target as he’s been consistently priced under 8k in many of those starts. The Wild may not allow a ton of SOG but they’ve also been playing great hockey of late and set up as -180 favorites here against the Coyotes, who only score 2.6 goals per game. He’s a solid pay-up target and one that won’t break the bank completely tonight.

Jordan Binnington, St. Louis Blues vs. Vegas Golden Knights ($7,500)

Tonight is now trending as a bit of a narrative spot for Binnington, who just signed a a six-year 36 million dollar extension on Thursday. He’s been a bit up and down for fantasy purposes over the last week, sporting just one win over his last five starts. Still, Binnington’s been solid for most of 2021 and the Blues may be catching the Golden Knight's at an opportune time here coming off two straight losses. As far as GPP plays go, the Blues netminder should be under-owned in this spot and, with STL set as just +104 underdogs, his chances of picking up the W here are good enough to make him a target for me.

Value on Defense

Vince Dunn, St. Louis Blues vs. Vegas Golden Knights ($3,300)

The Blues are dealing with some injuries on their backend with Colten Parayko out and that has seen Dunn step into a consistent top-4 role of late. Dunn has now played over 20-minutes per night over his last four games and is getting exposure on the Blues second-unit power-play as well. Despite getting buried on the Blues depth chart for much of his career thus far, Dunn has offensive capabilities and his increase in minutes here should eventually translate to a few more solid fantasy outings soon. At this price, he’s a nice punt target regardless of opponent, especially with the Blues offense playing better and up to 11th in goals per game.

Kevin Shattenkirk, Anaheim Ducks vs. San Jose Sharks ($3,900)

Shattenkirk has developed into a very reliable fantasy producer of late and comes in with five points and two goals over his last three games. The veteran has been promoted to PP1 duties recently and the move up seems to have sparked his offensive side. While only one of his last five points have come on the man advantage, he gets a Sharks team here who is allowing the second-most goals per game and gives up the fourth-most SOG against per game as well. The Ducks are live here to grab a win tonight and Shattenkirk’s recent production—and the matchup—make him a nice lower-tier value on this smaller slate.

Power-Play Defensemen

Tyson Barrie, Edmonton Oilers vs. Ottawa Senators ($6,400)

I’d like to come up with some unique suggestion in this spot, but we have a smaller five-game slate and the Oilers vaunted PP1 will be going up against the Ottawa Senators here. Barrie and his free-wheeling style have been a perfect fit for Edmonton’s offensive stars and he enters this game with four assists over the last two games—both against the Senators. Barrie’s landed 14-SOG over the last two games as well and has seen his 10 of his 22-points come on the man advantage. Edmonton’s power-play is actually lagging a bit compared to last year’s but they’re still hitting at over a 26% clip and are up against a Senators team who ranks 24th in penalty-kill.

Since you’re likely rostering one of Draisaitl or McDavid here anyways, using Barrie in one of your defense slots makes a ton of sense from a correlation perspective as well. The Oilers may not score seven goals again but anything is possible when you have this good an offense going up against a weak team like Ottawa.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $60K Twine [$15K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.